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Motherland reads: 5 novels set in Latin America to take you back

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We all miss the motherland from time to time. From the food to the music to the air we breathe there, when we’re back ‘home’ something familiar and quintessential just locks into our soul. Lucky for us, there are plenty of novels written by Latin American authors, set in Latin American countries to take you back to where you’re from.

You’ll find classics, lighter reads for the beach, plus a few heavy hitters to get you where it hurts. It may even be better than actually going home anyway, because when you visit through a novel, at least you don’t have to deal with overbearing family members. Take it from Chilean novelist, Isabel Allende: “If I had to choose between a relative and a good story, I would take the story.” With that in mind, here’s are 5 novels set in the motherland to take you right back.

1. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

A book that has pages that form a heart

This Latin American novel is a classic and great summer read. It’s, “The lush, wondrous story of an unrequited love that survives half a century,” and we swoon every time.

2. Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquival

Book that forms a heart with its pages

Set in turn-of-the-century Mexico, Like Water for Chocolate, one of our favorite Latin America books, is a timeless story while the traditions are something we can all identify with.

3. How I Became a Nun by César Aira

A cup on top of some novels

The most fascinating part of this Latin American novel is that it’s narrated by a six-year old character, who the outside world sees as a boy, but considers herself a girl. We love the boundary pushing here!

4. Maya’s Notebook by Isabel Allende


Maya’s Notebook is a departure from her usual magic realism genre. Allende writes about family drama, criminal acts and addiction with a haunting truth you have to read to believe.

5. Hopscotch by Julio Cortazar


In Cortazar’s Hopscotch you follow an Argentinean intellectual around Paris and then to Buenos Aires where he engages in pretty much every Latin American cultural phenomenon you could want from him, even drinking mate.

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